Letter 12: January 18,2022
It’s true that when I first started THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DESK, I had little use for the humble newsletter. I truly did not understand its function. I wanted to write long form essays on art and books, to delve as deeply into my subjects for public exposure as I had for years for my private obsession. It wasn’t until I found myself at a standstill creatively that I realized how disseminated reflection could show the gears working. It’s said of good writing that it never shows the underpinning of motivations and the machinations by which we achieve them. But outside of the actual essays I could certainly describe my interests, my struggles, and their eventual rewards. It became a narrative of its own, a layer of meaning enveloping the individual essays. I have been able to throw off the guilt of speaking directly about what I am doing and how.
Currently I am working on a few different things, which you will see in full very soon. The essays I spoke of recently, on Amanda Mathis and Jack Kerouac, you will see soon, right after the second interview I have completed, which is with Dawn Delikat, the new Executive Director of the venerable nonprofit art gallery Pen+Brush, which has been in existence for 125 years, but only recently moved from its original 10th Street townhouse into a Flatiron area ground floor loft space. My subject started there 18 years ago as an intern, and has risen up through the ranks for the administrative and support community. I take her back through all the years of this development, and she gives a great story of her own pathway that includes a keyhole into the story of an important venue for developing artists, still organized and led with both vigor and vision.
When I first started THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DESK, I wanted a platform as open to forms of written and oral expression as I could make them. But the forms aren’t everything. The subjects of writing create a source of inspiration that changes it, gives it new meaning. My own interests are not only to be found in visual arts and literature, but also in music, food, architecture, cinema, interior design, fashion, theatre, history, belief, and greater society. So much enters into our consideration of modern living that does not fit into easy boxes. The media (and by this, I mean so-called entertainment television and print media, as well as streamed options like YouTube), provides a broad context for reflecting upon these varied subjects. My focus is both on fleshing out the ambiguities of a good argument and on the subjects in themselves. I should be willing to take steps in any direction. If I do, you will read or hear it here.